WASHINGTON — The Senate trial for former President Donald Trump would begin the week of Feb. 8 under a deal struck between both parties, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Friday.
Senate Republicans had requested more time to allow Trump's lawyers to prepare as impeachment managers, members of the House who act as trial lawyers, will be sworn in on Tuesday next week and the trial will be in earnest in February.
“Leader McConnell is glad that Leader Schumer agreed to Republicans’ request for additional time during the pre-trial phase," said Doug Andres, spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. "Especially given the fast and minimal process in the House, Republicans set out to ensure the Senate’s next steps will respect former President Trump’s rights and due process, the institution of the Senate, and the office of the presidency. That goal has been achieved. This is a win for due process and fairness.”
The House impeached Trump the week before he left office for allegedly inciting a deadly riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6 in an attempt to overturn the result of the 2020 election. The Senate will now be required to determine whether he should be convicted of the charge, a decision that could prohibit him from running for public office again.
"Make no mistake: A trial will be held in the United States Senate, and there will be a vote whether to convict the president," Schumer, a New York Democrat, said. "Senators will have to decide if they believe Donald John Trump incited the insurrection against the United States."
A conviction requires a two-thirds majority, which means at least 17 Republicans would have to join all of the Democrats.
If convicted, the Senate is also expected to vote on whether to bar Trump from holding office again.
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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Trump is owed a "full and fair process where the former president can mount a defense."
McConnell suggested Thursday that a trial be delayed to mid-February to give time for preparations, which would also allow the Senate to approve more of President Joe Biden's cabinet.
McConnell has said he's undecided on whether to convict Trump. His vote could carry significant influence over a caucus he has led for 14 years.